Western Oregon’s first Doctoral Program, the first Occupational Therapy Program in Oregon’s public university system

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University announces its first doctoral program in Occupational Therapy (OT). Classes will be held at the WOU: Salem campus beginning in the fall of 2024.

“It is wonderful to see Western Oregon moving to address the needs of the state in this area,” said President Jesse Peters.

This will be the first doctoral program at Western Oregon and the first Occupational Therapy program to be located within Oregon’s public university system. Western is currently in the applicant phase of accreditation with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and will begin accepting applications by November 2023 with plans to start the first student cohort in fall 2024

“Our location in Salem provides incredible opportunities for our students to grow as healthcare professionals who are prepared to meet the current and future mental and physical healthcare needs of our diverse population,” says Sean Roush, Director of the OT program. “We can’t wait to welcome our first cohort of students.”

The program is designed to prepare students to balance the art and science of OT practice as entry-level therapists. Occupational therapists work with individuals, groups, and organizations to promote health and wellness across the age span so that everyone can strive to live life to the fullest.

“We are excited to launch the first Occupational Therapy Doctorate offered at an Oregon public university, as we need a more affordable option for students interested in this career path,” Rob Winningham, Provost of Academic Affairs said. “Oregon is in desperate need of more healthcare professionals and programs that lead to licensed practitioners.”

Updates on the progress toward accreditation and welcoming the first class will be regularly posted at https://graduate.wou.edu/occupational-therapy-doctorate/

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